The Caribbean and the Mediterranean are the world’s most popular cruise destinations. Caribbean cruises comprise forty-four percent of the industry’s world bed day capacity, with the Dominican Republic seeing nearly half a million cruise ship tourists each year. The Mediterranean is growing in popularity as a cruise destination. At the turn of the millennium it represented twelve percent of the market and by 2009, it represented sixteen percent, meaning that the Med and the Caribbean are in fierce competition with each other to see which location can provide the most attractive option for a holiday.
Mediterranean cruises are particularly popular with European holidaymakers, with one and a half million European passengers opting for them each year. The most visited ports are Venice and Civitavecchia in Italy and Palma and Barcelona in Spain, which offer sandy beaches, temperate blue seas and a host of activities to participate in. Italy has the number one spot in the Med in terms of number of visiting cruise ships on account of its warm weather, sites of historical interest and world famous cuisine.
The Caribbean is the most popular cruise destination for Americans, with just under a third of cruises to the region sailing out of Miami. The most visited location is The Bahamas and the next most visited islands include Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, St. Maarten and the US Virgin Islands. The Dominican Republic is also becoming increasingly popular as a cruise destination due to its breathtaking scenery, fifteen nature reserves and hundreds of unspoilt beaches. The cruise industry has contributed significantly to the nation’s economy in recent years and looks set to carry on doing so throughout the years to come.
How to Choose Between Them
It isn’t hard to tell why Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises are so popular. Both regions boast warm weather, fascinating local cultures and the opportunity to swim in clear, blue seas in a relaxing holiday environment. Despite the growing popularity of the Med, the Caribbean is likely to remain the premier cruise destination. According to Caribbean Tourism Organization secretary general Hugh Riley, it is the world’s most tourism-dependant region, meaning that cruises provide a much-needed economic boost to the local people.
The question that holidaymakers should be asking themselves is, ‘Which destination is the right one for me?’ With both regions possessing a similar set of favourable characteristics, it can often be difficult to decide which is the most suited cruise location to your personality. This issue has been explored in a report by cruise company IGLU Cruise, who have identified the features that differentiate the destinations from one another. They claim that the main advantage that the Caribbean has over the Mediterranean is that it has good weather all year round, whereas the Med has mild, wet winters. The report also highlights the fact that most of the activities that are available to do in the Caribbean are outdoor and adventure-related, whereas Mediterranean destinations tend to harbour opportunities to visit historical sites. Have a look at IGLU Cruise’s comparison of Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises yourself and form your own opinion.
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